Ron Paul

Protest Votes Embarrass Obama in Arkansas, Kentucky


Barack Obama's string of poor primary performances—poor, that is, for an incumbent not facing a serious challenger—continued in Arkansas and Kentucky last night. In Arkansas, protest candidate John Wolfe received 41.6% of the ballots and carried 36 of the state's 75 counties. In Kentucky, 42.1% of the voters (and an actual majority of the counties) backed Uncommitted, which is about as pure a vote for Not Obama as you can cast. (It is also the best showing I can recall Uncommitted receiving since the general election of 1960, when the wily devil carried a state.)

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Meanwhile, on the Republican side:

in Kentucky, Obama actually compiled more votes than Republican winner—and general election challenger—Mitt Romney. Both contests are now symbolic, of course, but Republicans still have more of a reason to go out and vote in their primary. Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Republicans' version of "Uncommitted" combined for about 33 percent in Kentucky.

Ron Paul carried Trigg County, Kentucky, in what I'd like to believe was a late-breaking protest against the TVA's land-grabs and the crackdown on moonshine.

Update: I wouldn't read too much into the fact that more Kentucky voters backed Obama than Romney. The Democratic winner regularly outpolls the Republican winner in that state's presidential primaries. In 2000 Al Gore, running against no one but Bill Bradley and Lyndon LaRouche, got more votes than George W. Bush, who was in a situation similar to Romney's, and Bush still beat Gore easily in the general election. (In Kentucky, that is. Not everywhere.) Chris Mallory suggests that this reflects which downticket races will be contested in the fall: When there's more than one Democrat seeking an office and no one on the Republican side, Dems have more reason to turn out. Having lived from 2002 to 2006 in Baltimore City, where the Democratic primary is the local election, this sounds plausible to me.

NEXT: Will This Election Be About Mormon Massacres and Obama's SAT scores?

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  1. Hurray for uncommitted!

    With the democratic rules, doesnt that guarantee uncommitted a handful of delegates for the first ballot?

    I voted for Paul.

    1. It does, but I guarantee that the people who have signed up to be official Uncommitted delegates are actually all loyal Democrats and loyal Obama supporters.

  2. As I mentioned two years ago, I drove from Owensboro area to Glasgow area for a funeral/burial during primary season 2010.

    While that doesnt pass thru Trigg County, its the same general area. Every yard sign (literally 100%) in the GOP primary that year was a Rand Paul sign.

  3. I’m sure voters thought that voting for Uncommitted meant voting for Romney.

    1. Im sure you are wrong. My Mom, for example, voted for uncommitted (she is a registered Dem). She knew exactly what it meant.

      A lot of the Ds in KY will be voting “not Obama” in the fall, which may mean voting for Romney. But they arent voting for Romney.

      1. ^didn’t get the joke

        1. I got it.

          Well, depending which he meant, but I got the other, funnier one too.

      2. Ds in KY will be voting “not Obama”
        but, that just means they are racists, right?

  4. At least with Wolfe you definitely knows where he stands when it comes to crime and punishment.

    However I don’t know about this Uncommitted guy, I don’t know if you can count on him, he seems wishy washy, something for everyone kind of candidate.

  5. Rush 2112!

    1. Or at least 2012 – can’t wait for the tour!

  6. Republicans still have more of a reason to go out and vote in their primary

    Seeing how your vote will never affect an election’s outcome, both Republicans and Democrats have exactly the same reason to go out and vote in the primary.

    NOTE: I do vote, but not under the delusion that the closeness of a race matters to the importance of my vote. I vote because I was raised Catholic so self sacrifice for something you think is right can make me feel good.

  7. In Michigan in 2008, a vote for ‘Uncommited’ was a vote for Obama. Obama was following party rules and was not on the ballot since Michigan moved their primary too far up. Clinton, however, had her name on the ballot.

  8. Sounds like a plan to me dude. Wow.

  9. The only reason Obama had more votes than Romney is because in many local elections the Democratic primary decides who will be the office holder. The Republicans don’t run anyone in the general election, so the winner of the Democratic primary is the next office holder. This is slowly changing, but the Democrats still hold an advantage in party registration.

    1. Also, I had two races on my ballot. President and a non-partisan judge race to fill a vacant seat.

      The GOP didnt have two candidates running for any of the other seats so there wasnt anything on my ballot for those races.

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